ISLAMABAD: As the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) claimed to have made Rs177 billion recoveries in first quarter of the current fiscal year, the Power Division on Tuesday called into question the publication of audit reports before conclusive decision by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
“The AGP made recoveries of Rs176.9bn during first quarter (July-September) of 2020-21”, said an official statement. The AGP said the recoveries from federal government departments stood at Rs176.3bn while that from provincial and district offices were recorded at Rs578.8 million.
The highest recovery during the period under review was made by Director General Audit (DGA) Petroleum & Natural Resources, Lahore that recovered Rs169.67bn followed by DGA Commercial Audit & Evaluation (CA&E) Islamabad that recovered Rs2.332bn.
AGP claims Rs177bn recoveries in 1st quarter
Likewise, DGA Inland Revenue & Customs (IR&C) Karachi recovered Rs1.83bn while DGA Islamabad managed the recoveries of Rs619.4m. Recoveries by DGA Foreign and International Affairs (F&I) Islamabad amounted to Rs5.80m, DGA Social Safety Net Rs4.44m and DGA Rawalpindi made recoveries of Rs88.5m.
Also, the recoveries by DGA (Defence Affairs) Karachi made recoveries of Rs189.01m, DGA Works (federal) Islamabad Rs440.77m, DGA Works China Pakistan Economic Corridor Islamabad recovered Rs78.16m, DGA (CA&E) Islamabad Rs15.08m and DGA Post and Telecom Lahore recovered Rs762.49m.
The amount recovered by DGA Power Sector, Lahore stood at Rs28.02m, while that by DGA Railways Lahore stood at Rs178.13m besides DGA (IR&C) Lahore recovered Rs82.81m and DGA (IR&C) Karachi made recoveries of Rs1.833bn.
Among provincial and district government recoveries, DGA (works provincial) Lahore managed recoveries of Rs26.91m, DGA Punjab Lahore recovered Rs129.24m, DGA KPK Peshawar Rs15.5m, DGA Sindh Karachi Rs57.79m while DGA Balochistan Quetta recovered Rs131.65m.
Similarly, an amount of Rs54.48m was recovered by DGA AJK Muzaffarabad, Rs137.18m by DGA district (North) Punjab Lahore, Rs23.53m by DGA district (South) Multan, Rs1.27m by DGA District Peshawar and Rs0.42m were recovered by DGA (L.C) Balochistan, Quetta.
It may be mentioned here that the Auditor General Office (AGO) conduct the annual audits of various government offices and institutions through its field offices. The AGO has so far completed the audits until the year 2019-20. The audit report of the year 2019-20 has been laid in the Parliament.
The AGP said its offices identify the corruption in various departments through audit paras. “The audit reports prepared by the AGP are then discussed by the PAC each year. After detailed discussion, the PAC testifies the report. On the basis of that report, the recoveries are made from the concerned departments”, the AGP said.
The power division on the other hand questioned the AGP’s rationale behind publication of its audit reports before a final decision by the PAC of the parliament. “The finality of irregularities or mismanagement is vested with PAC of the Parliament. Therefore, the reporting of Audit Report before its finalization by the relevant forum does not serve the purpose of fair reporting for fair public opinion”.
It said the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) comprising DG (Audit) Power and Power Division’s representative, had already discussed paras highlighted in audit reports and directed all entities of Power Sector for verification of record and submission of their revised point of views based on rules and regulations.
The Power Division said the audit reports were more of a question of difference on point of interpretation of rules and regulations by both sides. The disagreement, if any between the audit and auditee, is then submitted for final decision by PAC of the Parliament.
The Power Division said the overall market revenue per annum of power sector was about Rs1.4 trillion and hence the question of Rs3tr misappropriation in accounts was illogical. It said the AGP while presenting annual report should not cover recoveries/accounts of previous years that unnecessarily created public hype.
Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2020